Neurology is one of the most complicated areas of medicine. A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of problems with the brain, muscles, and spinal cord. Becoming a neurologist is very difficult, time consuming, and expensive. While the challenges are grueling, being a neurologist can be very rewarding as the average neurologist starts at $160,000 per year and can make well over $300,000. The following article will give tips and steps on how to become a neurologist.
The first thing you need to do to become a neurologist is get excellent grades. You need to be nearly a straight “A” student, and get high SAT or ACT scores in high school so you can get into the best university you can. Once you are admitted, you need to continue to get straight “A’s” in college while majoring either pre-medicine, or another science. Your grades and degree will help you get into the best medical school.
While in medical school you should continue to excel in the classroom, while beginning to consider the options within neurology and research new neurological practices. Towards the end of your four year medical school, you will need to start applying for internships. You should apply for internships at hospitals which have top of the line neurology programs and are led by world class neurologists. Once you are in your one year internship program, it is best to study during your free time to continue to learn the trade. At the same time, you should look for a place to complete your residency. The criteria for the residency are slightly different because you will have to live in this location for at least a few years.
While working during your residency you should apply for a fellowship and start studying for the medical board exams. After the residency is completed, you will need to pass an exam to become a board-certified doctor. Once you have passed the board exams and have been fully certified to practice neurology, it is best to join The American Board of Medical Specialties. Joining this program will require you to take both oral and written tests.
Once you have passed the last tests and joined the The American Board of Medical Specialties you have completed all tasks needed. At this point, you will need to decide what you want to do with your career. You can consider starting a private practice, which is risky financially, or you can start a practice with other neurologists, or you can apply for a job within a hospital. Neurologists are in high demand, so finding a job will not be difficult. It may be best to work for a hospital and build a reputation before opening your own practice.